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PNG preparing for Nanjing

Having learned their path for 2014 includes matches against Venezuela and Slovakia the side met at the PNGFA Academy to up their preparations for the fast approaching event.
The first training camp was held in Garoka last month with head coach Margaret Aka taking the lead with the help of fitness trainer Mae Koime.
This time around, the girls also had the added experience of OFC Women’s Football and Grassroots Development Officer Nicola Demaine to aid not only the players, but the coaching staff in order for the side to give their best shot at the tournament.
England-born Demaine has been involved in coaching for nearly 20 years and says the focus for the week spent in Lae was defending primarily, with a number of other areas of the game also visited.
“It has also been an opportunity for the players to look at themselves and what they need to do to develop as a player,” Demaine says.
“I saw a lot of talent which is encouraging, but we still have a lot of work to do before we head to China.”
Demaine says in 2010 the Papua New Guinea team performed admirably in Singapore but could only manage a sixth placing – this time she’d like to see them do better.
“The PNGFA has made a good start with this series of training camps. It gives the coaches a chance to work with the players and get to know them before the competition which is important.
“I don’t think it will be an easy task at the Youth Olympic Games. Both Venezuela and Slovakia will be going out there to do their best, and so will we. The intention is to prepare the girls as best we can, and from there it will be up to them and what they can produce on the field.”
Demaine says something that added to the camps was having three women who attened women’s football course held in Papua New Guinea last year, and are now working with some of the girls in their regions, attended and were watching how it was run.
“Susan Watpore from Lae and Cathy Wamapiri from Lahi were both there, and Bernadene Taramaku from Ramu attended two days of the course even though she’s based some three hours away,” Demaine says.
“Cathy will soon be assisting at the new Development Centre in Lahi, so it was really good to see her and the two other ladies keen to continue building their coaching knowledge.”
The young girls present at the May camp have until the end of next camp, being held from 8-12 July, to prove themselves, as the final 18-player squad will be named shortly after on 15 July.
For more on Papua New Guinea football go to www.pngfootball.com.pg

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